Johnson takes V8 Ute Series Win for Holden Aussie Motor Racing legend Charlie O'Brien lamented mid way through the season that he "hadn't won a bloody Ute race yet but he would soon" and today at the Sydney Telstra 500 at Homebush, he not only ...
Johnson takes V8 Ute Series Win for Holden
Aussie Motor Racing legend Charlie O'Brien lamented mid way through the season that he "hadn't won a bloody Ute race yet but he would soon" and today at the Sydney Telstra 500 at Homebush, he not only made good on that promise but he won the round as well - and delivered a series win to Holden driver Grant Johnson for the 2010 Yokohama V8 Ute Racing Series - protected by Armor All.
O'Brien called on all of his thirty plus years in motor racing to hold off the ferocious advances of defending V8 Ute Champion Jack Elsegood who pressured for the lead for the final race's entirety.
"I tried everything I could to get by but nothing seemed to work," frowned Elsegood, "he's pretty fast that old man."
The fact that he couldn't get a clean pass and win the final race may well haunt the 2009 Champion as he comes to terms with the reality that had he indeed finished first he would have snared the Championship win by 2 points.
"That's how it goes," Elsegood conceded, "Grant did a good job."
Johnson had to survive several scares throughout the weekend, particularly when he was stripped of his qualifying points and race one results (his car was deemed illegal the night before due to a brake component irregularity) and was forced to line up the Brunel Energy SS Holden from the back of the grid in Race Two. Johnson fearlessly drove from the rear to an amazing fifth place finish, salvaging some valuable points and assuring that he would start a little further up the order for Race Three.
Elsegood started on the front row of the final race with Charlie O'Brien but he was unable to best the veteran and had to settle for second in the race and in the Championship.
Johnson cautiously moved to 15th position, a result that saw him clinch the overall Championship win.
"I'm elated to win this for Hi Tech Motorsport," grinned a teary Johnson, "with Jack in second it's a 1-2 for Hi Tech and a great result for all our team."
Ryal Harris crossed the line in third place but was later stripped of that result when officials deemed he was using an incorrect radiator and this then elevated fourth placed Chris Pither (Ice-break Ice-coffee Holden) on to the podium.
Rockstar Energy Drinks' Jeremy Gray was consistent all weekend in his XR8 Falcon coming home in fourth, ahead of the vastly improved Ben Kavich in the Fleetsmart XR8 Falcon in fifth and Charlie Kovacs home in sixth in the Wilson Security SS Holden.
Kovacs celebrated 250 starts in Ute Racing in doing so!
Seventh home was Andrew Fisher in a critical result ahead of stable-mate Dave Sieders and much improved South Aussie Craig Dontas in the Thirsty Camel SS Holden home in ninth.
Sieders had somehow resurrected his weekend today after his Nulon XR8 Falcon spent the night at a smash repairer being straightened after a massive crash almost ended his round prematurely yesterday.
The Homebush weekend was certainly typical of V8 Ute Racing with plenty of high drama, plenty of bone-jarring wrecks and tears of emotion all rolled into one.
The SS Inductions Award went to Andrew Fisher in the Jesus All About Life XR8 for passing thirteen cars in Race Two.
The Champion Spark Plugs Holeshot award went to Charlie O'Brien for his tremendous start in Race Two.
The Armor All Best Presented Car went to Ben "The Bull" Kavich in the Fleetsmart / Workhorse Collision #23 Falcon.
David Sieders was officially crowned the Ashley Cooper Rookie of the Year recipient.
Earlier in the day for Race Two of the weekend Gary "The Arson" Carson took a narrow victory in his GO! Channel XR8 Falcon over a fast finishing Ben Dunn in the Red Ass Mexican Foods Falcon in second and Ryal Harris in third place in the Country Energy #58 SS Holden. This was Carson's first V8 Ute race win and a great way to celebrate news that he and wife Jaimie are expecting their first child.
-source: aus v8 utes
AUS Utes: Hi-Tech Motorsport Sydney race 1 report
AUS Utes: Rhys McNally Sydney race 2 report